July 2, 2018 / 7:34 AM / a year ago

Israel's Delek says sale of insurer Phoenix again falls through

JERUSALEM, July 2 (Reuters) - Israel’s Delek Group said on Monday an agreement to sell its stake in insurer Phoenix Holdings to Sirius International Insurance fell through after it failed to win regulatory approval.

Delek has for more than six years been trying to sell its stake in Phoenix, one of Israel’s largest insurance companies. Several deals have been blocked by Israeli regulators who are concerned about some foreign groups taking over the company which, among other services, manages pensions.

Bermuda-based Sirius said in November it would exercise an option to buy Delek’s 47 percent stake in Phoenix for 2.3 billion shekels ($628 million). A couple of months earlier, Sirius had bought 4.9 percent of Phoenix for 208 million shekels.

The deal was given a green light by Israel’s anti-trust authority, but still needed approval from the Commissioner of Insurance and other regulators.

Delek, in a statement to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, said the necessary approvals had not been received in time for the deadline set in the agreement, so the deal with Sirius was cancelled. Delek said it would keep trying to sell its holdings in Phoenix.

$1 = 3.6642 shekels Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch, Editing by Tova Cohen

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